Lakeside beach of Vaikom to get facelift

Walkways, an indoor stadium, open stages and provision for digital experience on the anvil

The Kayaloram (lakeside) beach at Vaikom, a destination in the backwater town that has been lying neglected for years on end, is finally set to undergo a major facelift.

In line with a decision by the State government to turn the location into a major tourist draw, the Department of Tourism has kick- started the preliminary works on developing tourism infrastructure at the property. A joint team of tourism officials and architects visited the location and commenced preliminary planning.

According to the officials, the objective is to develop a host of tourism facilities that will combine activities ranging from entertainment to art, including water sports and cultural activities. The project will be implemented at a cost of ₹9 crore, as announced by the State government in its annual Budget for the fiscal 2021-22.

“Besides the facilities for sports, the plan also envisages construction of walkways, an indoor stadium, open stages and provision for digital experience, among other things. As the property belongs to the Vaikom municipality, we are awaiting an approval from the civic body and sketch of the property before finalising the plan,” said a senior official with the Tourism Department.

Commenting on the initiative, Vaikom legislator C.K.Asha said the government had already allotted a token provision of ₹1.8 crore towards the works.

“The government has been asked to prepare a list of empanelled architects to prepare a detailed plan, which will be designed and implemented in an environment-friendly manner,” she noted

The 6.5-acre lake-side property, which abuts the historic boat jetty at Vaikom, was opened to visitors a few years ago but since has been lying in neglect.

The new proposal, meanwhile, has triggered a controversy with the municipality coming out in the open against the alleged unilateral attempt by the local MLA to develop the location in an unscientific manner. An emergency meeting of the municipal council held here the other day decided to lodge complaints in this regard with the State government and the Tourism Minister.

“The project, which envisages the construction of huge concrete structures, will remain antithetical to the tourism development in Vaikom, which has embraced the principle of Responsible Tourism in a huge way,” pointed out an official.

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